I Believe in Sweat

Molly - Burke, Virginia
Entered on September 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in sweat. I know it’s weird but I have an explanation for my infatuation with the stinky stuff. No it’s not because I live on the eight floor of the tallest building on the James Madison University campus, with no air conditioning. It’s not because I’m one of those crazy people that likes to work out all the time. And it’s definitely not because I like smelling sweaty.

When I was growing up my mother was always a stickler for having the air condition and heat on as little as possible. I would lay there on my bed; on those hot summer nights, thanking the lord that I had a ceiling fan that had not only two, but three settings. The blades spun over my head and I lay there contemplating the best way to get from point A, my room, to point B, the basement where the main control of the air conditioning was located. I could take the long way go down the steps out the front door then back into the house through the basement door or the shorter more dangerous way. Down the first flight of steps, pass through the living room where I knew my parents were, then down another flight of steps to my destination. After many failed attempts I decided to just live with the sweat.

Through the years the summers have gotten easier. I’ve learned some tricks to keep me cool. Like sleeping with as little clothes on as possible, drink lots of ice water before going to bed, and if I cannot fall asleep there is probably someone having the same problem. Sweat has helped me learn many things including the perfect placement of fans and that the architects that designed my home were obviously thinking people who had air conditioning would actually use it.

I believe in sweat. In high school I played volleyball, I’ll always remember those hideous red jerseys that we had to wear for my club team; there was no hiding the sweat. I would look from teammate to teammate all of us dripping, but we all had that in common. Sweat brought us together, it let us know that you were giving your all on and off the court. Our coach would say that if she did not see sweat we were not trying hard enough. Smelly, stinky, sticky, and gross, whatever it was it brought us all together and made us the best team we could possibly be.

I believe in sweat. It has made me the person I am today. I’ve built up a resistance to the heat, it does not affect me nearly as much as it use to. I know it sounds silly, but I would rather be sweaty with no air conditioning in my eight floor dorm room then freezing and shivering in another room.